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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Monday, August 27, 2012

New Beginnings

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under heaven:
    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Today was the first day of school for the local school system and state university - a time of new beginnings. Usually by now, my sons and I would have already put in several weeks to a month of homeschooling before this date, but this is the first year for me to be officially 'retired.' Even though I'm not in the class with many others who had a first day of school today, the fall season still gets me in the mood for a fresh start. What better time to look at our priorities and make sure you aren't over extended as you begin new things.

Right now I'm in the process of 'a time to keep and a time to throw away' as I start the lengthy chore of downsizing and cleaning things. It's something that won't happen overnight, but I'm slowly making progress.

I'm looking forward to a Bible study I'm leading this fall called Six Basics of a Balanced Life by Carol Kent & Karen Lee-Thorp. What things are you doing this fall? What are your new beginnings? I'll soon be starting to write book two in a series I started. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

End of the Trail by Vickie McDonough

End of the Trail is the sixth book in the Texas Trails series. Vickie McDonough weaves the tale of Brooks Morgan and Keri Langston. Brooks has been drifting in life for the past ten years, with no real ambition until he stumbles upon the small town of Shoofly, Texas. Brooks comes to the aid of an old man, and wins the deed to a ranch in a high-stakes poker game. Before the old man dies, he quips to Brooks to "take care of Keri." No problem, he grew up on a ranch and knows how to handle critters.

Except Keri isn't the animal he was anticipating, but a beautiful young woman instead. Brooks doesn't know the first thing about what to do with her, and isn't about to give up his opportunity of a home of his own. Will they be able to solve their differences or will one of them need to go packing? I'm sure you'll enjoy this delightful tale set in 1896.

This book was provided free for review by Moody Publishers and the author.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cowgirl Trail by Susan Page Davis

Cowgirl Trail by Susan Page Davis is a delightful tale in the Texas Trails series. This fifth book in the series shares the wonderful story of Maggie Porter. This young woman returns home after a couple years away to discover her childhood home, the Rocking P Ranch is in failing conditions and the cowboys are threatening to strike. Her father is in desperate financial straits and failing health. It's up to Maggie to round up the cattle and prepare them for the cattle drive. She enlists the helps of her friends to have the first all female cowgirl drive.

Alex Bright, her former foreman, is caught between honoring the family he has served for many years or sticking with the men striking for better working conditions. His heart is caught in the middle. Will he choose to follow it, or choose to lose his only chance to attain Maggie's favor?

This book was provided free for review by River North Fiction from Moody Publishers.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Take My Burden

 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
    who daily bears our burdens.
Psalm 68:19
I was talking to a dear friend of mine on the phone today. Our time was limited since she needed to hurry off to an appointment, and I had writing deadlines I needed to be working on. In the few moments that we spoke, I poured out my heart to her, sharing several things that have been burdening my soul. She asked if there is anything she can do, and I replied flippantly about taking my burdens for a while.

It was in that moment that I realized that I have someone who daily does this for me, when I allow Him to do so. But I have to make an active choice to place my burdens on God's shoulders, and allow Him to carry them for me. Which means not taking them back again, but trusting that somehow He is going to work in them. So today, I choose to lay my burdens at His feet, knowing He will take care of them for me. I don't need to worry. Instead I choose to worship Him.

Hear my prayer, O Lord;
    listen to my cry for mercy.
In the day of my trouble I will call to you,
    for you will answer me.
Psalm 86:6-7